Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wildlife Encounters with Ree

I like to call myself a small town or country girl.  However, I fail this characterization in one area in particular.  Most country girls consider it no big deal to run into various outdoor creatures; they are tough.  I, on the other hand, consider it the end of the world; I am a wuss.

A few nights ago, I was sitting in bed reading (my husband was out like a light), and I was startled by a noise right outside our bedroom door.  It sounded like shuffling feet.  I sat up straight, heart pounding inside my chest, trying not to breathe.  Maybe I was just hearing things.  But, there it was again.  The dogs perked up, so I knew I was hearing something real.  "Michael...Michael!  There's someone in our house,"  I whisper-yelled.  "No there's not; go back to sleep!"  (He was cranky.)  I sat silently for a few more seconds, and heard it again.  "Michael, this is real!  Get out there and see what's going on!"  "No!  Leave me alone!"  ...Awesome.  Time to put on my big girl pants.

I tip-toe to the door, open it slightly and flip on the hall light.  I don't hear anything, so I venture out into the hallway and stand still as a statue.  Then, I see it.  Something moves quickly in the dining room, out of the corner of my eye--something eye-level with me.  I gasp and run into our room and slam the door shut.  Now I have Michael's attention.  "Michael, there is someone out there, I just saw it!  Get up!  Get up!"  He leaps out of bed, goes to the hallway, and my brave hero says, "Hello?  Who is it?"  I'm thinking, "That's NOT what you say to someone who's robbing you in the middle of the night!  Please don't die out there."  He screams...and grabs a broom.  I scream...and close the bedroom door tight so that whatever is out there can't get in (including my husband--what kind of wife am I?).  I hear commotion, more screaming from Michael...which leads to more screaming from me.  Then I hear between gasps for breath, "It's gone!  It's out of here!  It was a bat flying in our house!"  You better believe I could not sleep that night, and kept thinking I felt something fly into my hair.  You know the feeling...jumpy, grossed out, totally tense.  The next morning, I scanned each room with hawk-like vision before venturing into it.

It must be because of my past run-ins with wildlife, but I can't handle it.  Not even for a second.    I will always scream bloody murder.  Maybe it was that day the opossum jumped out of a bag in our garage as a kid, and its ensuing end as my dad beat it to death with a metal t-ball bat.  Or maybe it was that day in Jr. High when I came home to check on the nest of baby birds on my window sill, only to see them being swallowed whole by a big black snake...and its fatal end as my dad beheaded it with a garden hoe.  Or perhaps it was that time a couple months ago when I stood on a lawn chair screaming as my dad stomped a mole to death under his New Balances.  Whatever the source, I want no part of it.  Give me puppies and butterflies.  Anything else...

I guess I'm a small town girl with a healthy urban distaste for small woodland creatures.  Thank goodness for my husband, Batman.  ...And my dad; contrary to how these stories make him sound, he's not violent.  Although his nickname at the prison is Grizzly...

No worries; he's a guard.  :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Well, ain't we swank!

Certain things are just glamorous, and a sleeping mask is one of those things.  Picture Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's...

My brother Adam and I have a phrase we exchange a lot: "Well, ain't we swank!"  We originally got it from the 1956 horror movie The Bad Seed, one of our favorites.  Now, we throw it back and forth to each other if either of us is wearing or doing something especially fancy.  Well, I am swank.  I recently made my very own sleeping mask.

We had a big road trip coming up, and my hubby is kind enough to do most of the driving.  So I knew I would have ample time to sleep in the car, and a sleeping mask would really help with that.  (But really, it would also help me feel like a glamorous 1940s movie star in a flowing pink satin robe and matching slippers, smoking my long get the idea).  Old soul, right here.  

As with most of my sewing projects, this one took way longer than my estimated 20 minutes (someday I'll learn!) and I didn't use a pattern (which significantly raised my blood pressure).  And it was my first project using elastic; I'm a fan.  Someday when I'm a mysterious old lady, I will sew my own elastic-waist pants for every occasion.  Anywho, here's how it turned out...

It works so well, I'm even able to sleep standing up and smiling!  :)  It's quilted, comfortable, obviously huge on my head, and totally blocks out all light.  Glamorous.  Practical.  Swank.  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

This Book Deserves Better

Every once in a blue moon, you stumble upon a book that you feel was just written for you.  I am in the beginning-to-middle of such a book right now.  This evening, I bombarded my husband with the details of this book and why I'm enjoying it so much ("and I'm only to page ten!").  Turns out I was actually to page's a real page-turner.  It has everything I love...the exploration of a decaying castle in rich detail, old ladies with a mysterious past (I hope to be one of these someday), haunting memories, and even reference to olfactory memory (when you smell something that triggers a memory from long ago--this has always fascinated me!).

Anywho...the tiny scrap of paper I was using as a bookmark HAD to go.  First, I was so enthralled with this book, that I felt it deserved better.  Something more substantial and hearty, to coincide with the greatness of the words inside.  Second, it's always annoying to use a little piece of torn paper in a big book.  It gets lost in there!  Time to make a new bookmark...sewing-style.  :)

The "r" stands for Ree...or Read...or Really Good Book.  I feel so much better having a real bookmark in there.  ...or Real Bookmark.  Okay, I'm done now.  So the title of this great read is The Distant Hours by Kate Morton (thanks, Brandi, for the recommendation).  If you are an old soul like me, pick it up.  I still have a few hundred more pages to go, so I'm really hoping it holds up to all the hype I'm giving it--at page seventy-two.

The Distant Hours...and the puny scrap of paper that used to be its bookmark.
Now, I get an extra dose of satisfaction every time I close the book.  I love what I just read and I know I'll definitely find the place where I left off!  I hope this bookmark finds its way through many more great books...maybe even all the way till I'm an old lady with a mysterious past.